The past few years have seen the shelves of our local games stores overrun with World War II games. Along with the Call of Duty series, Battlefield is one of the largest contributors to this heavy smattering of 1900s warfare extravaganzas. Both franchises have enjoyed a good deal of success too, demonstrating the unquenchable thirst for gunplay harboured by the countless millions of weekend couch potatoes commandos of which the gaming community consists.
Both franchises try to tackle things from a more realistic angle than most games too, with your characters stumbling along like a gear-laden infantryman rather than the ultra-twitch reflexes necessary for games such as Counter-Strike. The Battlefield games are somewhere between Valve’s classic FPS and the more inaccessible hardcore milsims, such as Arma II.
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There's been so many Battlefield games that we could sit here discussing the comparisons between this new release and its siblings until the Wagyu cows came home. However, we’ve decided to take a look at the game on its own merits and keep the comparison to a minimum so people unfamiliar with the series can get a feel for life on the front lines.
The comparisons probably wouldn't be favourable anyway - everything in Battlfield 1943, from classes to maps has been trimmed down for the console crowd and there's now few lines that can be drawn between Battlefield 1943 and Battlefield 1942. That's not totally a bad thing of course, just a necessity of the change in platforms for what is at the moment a console exclusive. The PC version won't be with us for a fair few months yet.
Besides, there are places where things have been added and not just trimmed down too - the game features destructible buildings and environment and of course, a graphical face lift. Much of the controls and weapons have been rebalanced and redesigned too, so this isn't a case of just chopping the PC classic down to size so that it'll fit on the consoles.
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The game features three classic Battlefield maps: Iwo Jima, Wake Island and Guadalcanal. A fourth map, which is dedicated entirely to dog fighting will appear in the game but only once the community’s combined kill count reaches 43,000,000 frags. In addition to being a cool touch and providing some incentive for plenty of warfare, this could see something of a race between PS3 and Xbox 360 owners. Considering the sales difference of the two consoles though, the Sony crew might find themselves at something of a disadvantage.
The character classes are a rock, paper scissors-style trio of World War II essential troops. The rifleman sports a rifle with a grenade launcher attachment for some heavy damage and a bayonet for getting up close and personal. An infantryman is equipped with a submachine gun for close quarters spray-and-pray and a bazooka which is ideal for taking out vehicles. Both classes can use standard grenades in addition to their class-specific arsenal. The final class is a scout which is is equipped with sniper rifle, remotely detonated explosives and a pistol. Those new to the old-school WWII premise FPS games will find themselves screaming at the reload time of the classic guns and wishing they had a good AK’ for the job.